Petition to Form an Animal Law Section of the ISBA

We, the undersigned, hereby request that the Illinois State Bar Association approve the formation of an Animal Law Section. Animal law is an emerging, although increasingly mainstream, area of law. Thirteen state bar associations and nine local bar associations, including the Chicago Bar Association, have already formed animal law sections or committees. The American Bar Association has an Animal Law Committee within its Trial Tort & Insurance Practice Section. Animal law is now being taught in roughly 80 law schools around the United States and a growing number of practitioners are devoting some or all of their practice to this area. Like environmental law, animal law is really an umbrella name covering many areas of law, including cruelty statutes (criminal), veterinary malpractice and boarding injuries (civil) and questions of legal standing for animals (constitutional). It also covers all types of animals, ranging from companion animals to wildlife, entertainment, research and farm animals. Given society\'s increasing recognition of the importance and value of non-human animals, we believe it is appropriate for the Illinois State Bar Association to join the growing ranks of state bars in providing a forum for the discussion and development of animal law.

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